B2B healthcare marketing is tricky—especially for consultants trying to generate provider leads. Here are tried-and-true ways to improve your return on investment.
Healthcare providers need expert advisors to navigate the financial and legal landscape of their work, so they can focus on helping patients. In turn, these highly specialized consultants thrive when they help doctors and hospitals through their expertise. This marketplace of providers and consultants form just a fraction of the massive U.S. healthcare industry, which generated more than $3.8 trillion in spending in 2019. With this amount of money on the line, as well as better patient care, it should be easy for providers and advisors to find each other. But the opposite is true.
Providers lack a convenient way to find advisors they can trust and rely heavily on referrals. While consultants can build their networks and increase their client base with digital marketing, they face stiff competition from other advertisers. Even with an SEO strategy to attract customers through organic search, it‘s difficult for B2B healthcare marketing campaigns to break through the glut of online consumer healthcare content. As a result, advisors end up spending a ton of money on digital marketing only to generate a few valuable leads—if any.
How do you improve your results?
If you invest in a TV ad campaign or targeted ads on Facebook, you can determine how valuable or effective it was based on how it impacted your sales. Return on investment (ROI) is one of the best blanket metrics for measuring the value of a particular campaign or overall marketing effort. As in all industries, improving ROI in B2B healthcare marketing is key to improving the overall profitability of your business.
Calculating ROI in marketing is as easy as applying a simple formula:
Take the net profit of an investment, divide it by the cost of the investment, and multiply it by 100. In a traditional investment model, where you invest $1,000 in a project and reap $2,000 after selling it, you can calculate the ROI as
ROI = ($2,000 ÷ $1,000) x 100
In this example, your ROI is 200 percent.
Calculating ROI in B2B healthcare marketing can be a bit trickier, as it involves clearly defining the investment and the profit. You can choose to measure ROI for your entire annual marketing budget or analyze it by channel types or individual campaign runs.
To measure your annual marketing ROI, the formula is
ROI = (Annual Profit ÷ Annual Marketing Spending) x 100
In this equation, you could also opt to replace annual profit with annual revenue to get a better picture of how much marketing might have increased overall sales.
Aside from ROI, another important metric to find the value of your B2B healthcare marketing is the cost per lead (CPL). In marketing, a lead is any individual or company that has expressed interest in your services. The cost per lead is the amount of money it requires to get each lead. The formula for determining the average cost per lead is
CPL = Marketing Spending ÷ Number of Leads
CPL is best broken down by marketing channel or campaign, since it’s always easy to track where leads came from. For example, if you spend $4,000 on Facebook ads in June and acquire 32 new leads, your CPL is
$4,000 ÷ 32 = $125
You can then compare this number to the CPL of other channels, such as content marketing and Google ads, to learn which channel has the best ROI.
With even a little knowledge of ROI metrics, it’s possible to analyze your marketing campaigns and find opportunities to cut costs while increasing leads.
Many advisors and consultants expect to set up some basic marketing funnels, such as search engine and social media ads, and let them run on autopilot. Unfortunately, this is an easy way to waste money. Review marketing frequently, quarterly if not monthly or weekly, to analyze performance.
Setting achievable marketing goals will allow you to gradually increase your marketing ROI. A goal may be to reduce the marketing cost per quality leads. Following the previous example, you may decide to set a goal of lowering the cost per lead by 10 percent (from $125 to $112.50). To accomplish this, you can aim to generate 36 leads per month—4 more than usual. This will actually surpass your goal and reduce CPL to $111. Determine what steps you are going to take to do this and when you are going to review the results. For example, you may decide to target Facebook ads to more specific demographics. Keep the budget the same and check the results in one week.
Many healthcare advisors market through multiple channels, such as social media, content, and search engines. The best way to quickly increase ROI and develop more successful marketing channels is to spend time, energy, and money in the most successful channels.
Determine ROI by looking at the CPL for each channel, as well as how many leads from each became customers. If Facebook ads generate the most leads for the least amount of money, but none of them convert, Facebook ads do not offer a good ROI for the company (at least with your current strategy). Find out which channels have a high conversion rate, emphasize those channels in your marketing and then set goals to reduce the CPL.
You can try multiple strategies to achieve a goal—especially using a channel with a high ROI. For example, when you are trying to reduce CPL for Facebook leads by 10 percent, try different strategies, such as increasing ad spending for a more targeted audience or even micro-targeting to specific companies or individuals. If you are going that granular, perform A/B testing of different ad copy and images to see what’s most effective and with whom. You can even experiment with ad frequency and campaign length.
If any of your experiments prove especially successful, you can expand your goal beyond decreasing CPL by 10 percent. For example, if one test generates 40 leads per month, you have lowered your CPL to an impressive $100, 20 percent down from the original CPL of $125. Imagine what you could accomplish with more testing.
Even after you experiment to find ways to improve your ROI, B2B healthcare marketing is incredibly challenging. A more effective marketing solution for many healthcare consultants is to let high-quality leads find them organically.
Perla is a new B2B service marketplace that helps advisors with healthcare industry experience offer their services to healthcare entities and healthcare professionals to grow their businesses and explore new opportunities. On the Perla marketplace, doctors, hospital administrators, and other healthcare providers can search for and match with a network of vetted, qualified consultants for the exact kind of expertise they need.
Perla generates leads that are the highest quality in the industry: stemming only from healthcare professionals and specific to the services offered by the advisor. Perla’s ROI is unmatched, since consultants only pay per profile click and contact request at a lower cost compared to leads generated through other funnels. Because Perla actively markets its platform and network of trusted advisors, potential customers find you on their own with or without any additional marketing efforts on your part.
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